Dream Weaver.

Have you ever heard a song that had such an impact on you that you still remember where you were when you heard it for the first time?

My family had just moved to Oklahoma, where my father was transferred on assignment. One day I was in my room standing in front of my stereo, tuning around the radio while looking for music to record. When I tuned to KATT, a rock station from Oklahoma City, “Boys Of Summer” by Don Henley was playing. I liked that song, so I pressed the record button to capture its last few minutes before the next song began playing. This next song was unlike anything I ever heard before and I instantly fell in love with it. I kept playing it over and over. It would be years later, long after moving back to Florida, when I would finally learn that the name of that magical song was “Dream Weaver” and I bought the CD at Sam Goody not long afterwards. Goody got it indeed.

Woodburning a sign.

My mother recently asked me to woodburn her a sign for her kitchen to go along with the other two signs I made. She wanted the sign to say “My Kitchen Was Clean Last Week, Sorry You Missed It.” So began what would become my most challenging woodburning project yet.

The first thing I did was go online and try finding a font that matches the message of the sign. After experimenting with different fonts, I eventually decided to use one that was already installed on my computer, one called Poor Richard. I composed the layout of the sign and ended up with this template.


The challenging part was getting this template transferred to the wood on which I would do the woodburning. The wood was 23 inches long and I had to find a way to enlarge the template so the letters wouldn’t be too small. I found Rasterbator to be the perfect solution. I uploaded my image, specified the number of pages I wanted to use and minutes later, downloaded the PDF file of my image for printing across two pages. I taped the pages to the wood in preparation of transferring the template. Looking back on this step now, I should’ve adjusted the margin settings at Rasterbator to make the letters more visible among the two pages, but I was still able to transfer the template to the wood as described in the next step.


Next I used a pen and pressed down on the wood as I traced the outlines of the letters.


After I removed the paper, I took a pencil and marked the outlines to make them more visible.


When that was finished, I could see the transferred letters more easily.


All that was left to do was the woodburning.


Here’s how the sign looked after I intentionally burned “My Kitchen”.


After the lettering was done, I put in a border to complete the sign.


Of course, I signed and dated the back of the sign for posterity.


Now it’s ready for delivery to my parents’ house, where my mother will varnish the sign before hanging it in her kitchen.

Introducing Jackson Files.

Jackson is the pseudonym of the webmaster of one of the world’s most disgusting web sites. Jackson Files is updated continuously through out the day with gruesome pics and some of the most sickening videos ever filmed. In spite of the sickness, we are left to wonder, exactly who is Jackson?

Jackson’s real name is Scott Peterson, who had a perfectly normal childhood but when he reached his teens, his rebellious self emerged and his reckless behavior got him permanently evicted from his parents’ house. Peterson found his new home in the woods before being found unconscious by a kindly couple who took him to their house where he was nursed back to health. Peterson pretended to be a mute as not to give away any information about his true identity, so he was taken in as the couple’s adopted son. His name: Jackson.

Peterson got a job working at his adopted father’s warehouse and maintained his mute persona throughout his employment. In appreciation of his company and good work, he was rewarded with a fortune intended for the couple’s estranged son, enough to buy a car and a fully furnished apartment with enough money left over to enjoy the finer things in life.

One of the luxury items was a desktop computer. Peterson was also signed up with Internet access, which opened up a whole new world of web sites and content covering every subject imaginable. Peterson began staying up later and later each night exploring the Web and soon spent the entire night at his computer. He began oversleeping and kept arriving at work late, which was all his adopted father could stand. Peterson was fired and began his permanent isolation from the outside world, shutting himself into his apartment so he could continue exploring the Internet.

Meanwhile, his car began rusting and soon had to be towed because it was literally falling apart in the parking lot. But Peterson didn’t care, he had his computer and the Internet, and all was well in his world. Then Peterson started up a web site of his own, calling it Jackson Files. He experimented with varying content until he found the type of content that sent traffic his way in huge volumes. Yes, pornography and gruesome content became the basis for Peterson’s site and he stayed up for days at a time to search for stuff to post.

Then Peterson ran into a different problem. He was almost out of money and needed a steady source of income. That problem was solved when he sold advertising space on his site that drew advertisers like crazy, and Peterson’s money problems were solved.

So Peterson began looking for ways to build his Internet empire. Jackson Files was no longer enough, so he built Jackson’s Porn, Jackson’s Warez, Jackson’s Hentai, Jackson’s Gore, among others. He found himself staying up for days at a time to update his sites and was soon rolling around in the riches reaped from the hefty profits his sites made.

In the meantime, Peterson’s own life was falling apart. He neglected his apartment and fell behind with the maintenance and upkeep. Living conditions soon became as disgusting as Peterson’s sites, with mildew sprouting on the carpeting and mushrooms growing on the walls.

Then Peterson’s real parents showed up for a surprise visit and were shocked to see how horrible he looked and how disgusting his apartment appeared, not to mention a very disgusting video that was playing on Peterson’s computer. That would be the last time his parents ever came for a visit.

Then one day, in less than an instant, all of Jackson’s web sites disappeared from the Internet as disgusted hackers broke into the servers and erased all the files using multiple overwrite schemes to prevent recovery.

Jackson was so devastated at the loss of his web sites that he attempted suicide but only succeeded in permanently disfiguring his face made worse by unsanitary living conditions. He is lonely and very unhappy. No way can your life be worse than his.

Poetry from Dreamland.

The following poems came to me in dreams. This is exactly why I keep a notepad and pen on my nightstand. Had I not written these down after waking up, I’d have completely forgotten them by now.

For each line
Of poetry you read
Just say “Wo”

Reading poetry
Should feel like
Listening to machine guns

The Legend of Wolfjack.

Once there was a huge country divided in two
The Northern Part was Prospex,
And the Southern Part was Warria.
A child named Wolfjack was born
In Prospex, the Good Country, and was born
With greath strength, so he could be
A national hero as a man.
Once did Merlin call him to his castle
Because there was his first mission-
To destroy the Evil Country Warria’s King
By breaking plastic on him. Merlin spake:
“Yea, Wolfjack, you must depart to kill
The King before he harms us. Break anything plastic
On him, for it releases its odor harmful
To him. Beware of the red S for it will weaken
You, I know not why. Farewell!”
Merlin vanished with a flash, leaving in confusion
This Wolfjack. But he knew Merlin would tell him
To leave at dawn so leave he did.
On his good horse Banlor, he did trot
Down to the Evil Country Warria.
Suddenly, a mysterious force pulled Wolfjack out
From his saddle, and he flew to the King.
Banlor ran back to Prospex, feared he might
Be hurt with Wolfjack.
Wolfjack arrived at the King’s castle
Which was built of heavy stone and jagged edges
That scared away the enemyes.
But, the drawbridge lowered itself and then
It seemed to call Wolfjack in, but which he did
Cautiously, and inside the King was hiding after
He had seen Wolfjack arrive. Wolfjack stepped
In and quietly marched to the rear.
“Ha! Wolfjack!” screamed the King, who jumped out
And waved the curs├ęd S in front of his face.
“This S does not hurt me,” he said to Wolfjack,
Who felt weak already, but the King waved the S
Suddenly in Wolfjack’s face. Wolfjack spun slowly
And collapsed. The King laughed and turned, thinking
Woljack was killed. Wolfjack was regaining his powers
And magic to call upon some plastic plates
From a lovely girl who appeared with a bunch of them.
Wolfjack screamed and hurled the plates at the King
Who melted and vapourized immediately and
Was never seen again by a Warrian. Wolfjack,
After the long walk to Prospex, was hailed
And pronounced a national hero by the proud Merlin.


When I was in high school, I took Creative Writing as one of my elective classes. One of the things I learned as a means of getting ideas for things to write about was freewriting. My teacher told us to just start writing whatever came to mind without stopping until he told us to stop. Here’s what I came up with:

So, here I am, looking out the window on this cold night. The heat trickles out weakly from the vents and it warms me as I think about my future, how to go about it in this big maze. So, if I manage to pull through this maze, there’s always another one and another one after that. It keeps coming to me that Life is not as easy as it was when I was younger. People did stuff for me, and I didn’t have to help much. Then – BINGO! Here I am, being the chief helper around the house, and it gets pretty tiring after a while, then I manage to be lazy for a time and someone comes in and asks me “What are you doing?” I say nothing and they drag me out of my room and shove me to a job that I like a little or not at all. I must think for myself and that is quite tiring. I feel myself still developing and such dramatic changes can throw me off track. So, I feel I need some kind of help to get me through this big maze of life. Once I get through this…”STOP!”

Then my teacher told us to review what we wrote so far and find something to write about in the second freewriting assignment. I noticed I mentioned a maze of life and decided to explore that further. Before I knew it, I had just found something to write about.

Obstacles are all around me as I run through this semi-dark terror. I cannot see any hope of making it through this maze, because I hope to get out of it as soon as possible. Aha! I have escaped the maze! But, unfortunately, there is another one coming up ahead and that is another hard task to carry forth and so, I begin. That last maze is a boosted grade in algebra, but this one is improving my social life. I go in, and there in front of me is a hall, branching into two. I cannot choose but one and I take it. I run through it. Ah, DEAD END! I turn around, and time is wasted. I go down the second hall, and it too is a dead end. I stop and think, I am stuck in this maze.

So the next time you’re stumped for ideas for writing, just write nonstop for a specific time frame and then review what you wrote. You might just find something to write about after all.

The Writer’s Almanac.

The Writer’s Almanac is a wonderful radio show that has got to be the best 5 minutes of public radio you’ll ever hear. Hosted by Garrison Keillor, it covers notable events on this day in history and concludes with a reading of a short poem to give you some literary inspiration. If your local public radio station doesn’t carry this show, you can listen online at the web site or download the podcast. You can also access the show through iTunes and iHeartRadio.

Riding the river of oatmeal.

“Did you get the oatmeal going?” Ron asked Karen as she joined him and Harry in the living room.

“Yes,” Karen replied, “I made a double portion.” Ron grinned.

“Why is she cooking oatmeal now?” Harry asked. “We just had lunch!”

“Don’t worry,” Ron countered, “It’ll all make sense in a minute.”

“Yeah,” Harry replied. “Much like swimming in the grass made sense.”

Ron and Karen laughed, leaving Harry in deeper confusion. “But that was something, wasn’t it?” Ron asked.

Harry wasn’t paying attention. He was busy studying the large pot on the stove in the kitchen. The lid began to rattle as the water began to boil.

“Actually, this is something you can do when you get home,” Ron continued. “Just imagine having a swimming pool in your side or back yard. You do have a good sized back yard, so just imagine the pool there as deep and as wide as you want it.”

Harry was watching the lid on the pot rattle a little harder. “The water’s boiling,” he said.

“Every day, imagine this swimming pool in your back yard. Focus with intensity until you can almost see it. Imagine it with every thought you have and soon it will become real in your mind.”

Harry watched as the oatmeal began to flow over the side of the pot onto the stove and onto the kitchen floor. “The oatmeal’s overflowing now,” he said.

“And when the swimming pool becomes real in your mind, all you have to do is put on your bathing suit and jump in. It’s as easy as that.”

“The oatmeal is REALLY overflowing now,” Harry reported as he watched the oatmeal completely cover the kitchen floor as it continued flowing from the pot. He was surprised to observe that this was of no concern whatsoever to Ron and Karen who looked much too relaxed to even care about the huge mess in the kitchen now advancing towards the living room.

“The power of imagination,” Karen added. “It’s a power we all have but don’t use often, but we should.”

The deepening layer of oatmeal had now reached the living room with even more flowing from the pot in the kitchen. Again, Ron and Karen were completely oblivious to what was happening, not even as the oatmeal began to lift their couch off the floor. Harry began to sense that this was exactly what they wanted.

“Here we go,” Ron smiled. “I love this part.”

The sofa was now floating on top of the oatmeal and now began to drift on what was now a slow moving river. The river took the sofa outside where Harry was startled to see oatmeal flowing everywhere as one huge river reaching as far as he could see. He looked towards Ron and Karen and as usual they had on faces of contentment as if enjoying the ride.

“Just go with the flow,” Ron said. “Let yourself go free and let the oatmeal carry you away from your troubles.”

“But where are we going?” Harry yelled.

“At our age, who cares?” Ron replied calmly. “We have all the time in the world now. Just sit back, relax and go with the flow of the oatmeal. We’ll all find out where it takes us.”

And so everyone rode on the river of oatmeal until their sofa disappeared in the distance.

A game of pool in Dreamland.

Steve stood with cue stick in hand while watching Ian prepare to take his last shot. Only the 8-ball was left and Ian was concentrating on which treatment to give this last shot to win the game. He did a few gentle practice strokes before hitting the cue ball so hard that it flew off the table. To Steve’s amazement, the cue ball bounced off the floor towards the wall, and from the wall it ricocheted towards the ceiling where it dropped back down to the pool table to push the 8-ball into the side pocket. Ian had won the game.

“Nice!” Tony the bartender exclaimed.

“How did you do that!” Steve asked.

“Would you believe this was my first try at a shot like that?” Ian said to Tony as he racked up the balls in preparation for the next game.

Turning to Steve, Ian said, “Okay Steve, I want you to sink all the balls in one shot.”

Steve was stunned. “I can’t do that.”

“Give it a try anyway,” Ian said as he removed the plastic triangle that held the balls in standard formation. He rolled the cue ball to Steve and Steve lined it up with the balls in preparation for the break. Taking aim, he hit the cue ball hard enough to break the balls out of formation but only sank a few of them.

Ian quietly gathered the balls so he could rack them a second time. “Try again,” he said. “but this time, imagine yourself being able to sink all the balls in one shot.”

“I can’t,” Steve repeated.

“That’s why you couldn’t do it the first time,” Ian said. “Remember, we’re in Dreamland, where we can do absolutely anything, including defy reality. Remove all doubts from your mind and convince yourself you can in fact sink all the balls in one shot. Then see what happens.”

Ian removed the rack and rolled the cue ball back to Steve. Again Steve lined up the cue ball in preparation for the break. This time he concentrated on being able to sink all the balls in one shot and then hit the cue ball hard enough to send the balls scattering in all directions on the table before they all disappeared into nearby pockets.

“There you go,” Ian said. “Congratulations.”